It’s time to take staff engagement seriously

Andrew Carwardine, Managing Director of Dynama outlines 5 critical paths to motivated staff and organisational success


It may be over sixty years since American clinical psychologist Frederick Herzberg came up with his “motivator-hygiene theory” and became the pioneer of job enrichment, but his principles remain as true as ever.  The formula for creating a harmonious workforce is combining the intrinsic conditions of the job or “motivators” such as recognition, achievement and personal growth with primarily extrinsic or “hygiene factors” such as company policies, management styles and communication.

Since then, the link between happy staff and happy customers has often been debated and is today a common assumption.  However, many organisations are still failing to take the subject of staff motivation and engagement seriously enough.  According to Gallup, only one in six UK employees are engaged[i] and staff turnover is a serious business.  Recent research suggests that turnover relating to the Millennial Generation alone costs the US economy an eye-watering US$30.5 billion every year[ii].  The latest findings from recruitment company Randstad claim that 67% of decision-makers are more concerned about staff turnover now than they were 12 months ago[iii] making employee engagement and retention an increasingly serious issue for HR professionals everywhere.

This article discusses Dynama’s own experience of effective workforce management strategies for enhanced staff engagement.  Furthermore, it recommends several innovative approaches using automation to reduce the administrative burden for managers and boost employee morale at the same time.  Here is a summary of our five-point plan:

  1. Focus on better workforce scheduling – scheduling staff is a complex business.  It has time and cost implications for organisations and can frequently be a demotivating factor for employees.  Self-service is a valuable motivator and introducing a secure easy to use online portal will empower staff to self-serve their working lives.  They can quickly state their individual preferences and then tap into dynamic data to gain visibility of their colleagues’ schedules and activities
  2. Create a living and breathing staff library – that automatically updates itself with very little manual effort.  Storing everything in one place – from skills mix, certification details and travel plans to holiday requests and training commitments, and then connecting it seamlessly to HR and project management systems makes it easy to align individual goals with those of the overall organisation. It also helps leaders find innovative ways of managing their teams.  Shared visibility and proactive communication of these goals usually introduces a greater sense of inclusivity and involvement that spurs staff on to do their best and go the extra mile to deliver exceptional customer service
  3. Plan for the future – see at a glance who you have and where exactly they need to be to maximise multi-skilled resources, and keep staff, and important client projects, in tip-top form at all times.  Then, use accurate historic data and carry out ‘what if’ scenarios to develop right-sized, right-skilled staffing plans for the future
  4. Take staff development seriously – make the most of your human capital by putting in place relevant training programmes with associated competencies and qualifications.  Maintain one unified central repository for training plans and records in order to facilitate enhanced career development.  When employees have a clear career path, they feel more engaged knowing they are considered to be much more than a small cog in a large wheel and have the potential to make a real difference to the organisation
  5. Keep your staff away from the competition – the first step is to recognise that the best companies hire and retain successful staff and give them a fair amount of freedom along the way. Can you help staff to strike a good work/life balance by introducing flexible working hours and have you considered the latest gamification techniques to recognise outstanding performance?

    For small, growing companies, the rate of successful recruitment can limit their future progress but long-established organisations should not become complacent.  Furthermore, in industries where highly skilled staff with specialist expertise are in short supply, keeping hold of your best talent should be a top priority because if you can’t keep your staff engaged, they are vulnerable to loss.

Recognise the importance of effective staff engagement and follow these five steps to transform your workforce management processes.  The rewards of increased productivity, improved customer service and greater profitability are well worth the effort.

Dynamas’s ‘Enhancing Effective Staff Engagement’ White Paper is one of a series of white papers exploring the key business issues faced by organisations today and offers techniques to overcome these common challenges.  To download a full copy of the White Paper visit


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